I Went Speed Dating At A Star Wars Convention. This Is My Story
For a Star Wars fan such as myself, there is an insurmountable amount of things to do at the Star Wars Celebration. One of those things happens to be a way for people to “look for love in a galaxy far, far away.” Nerd Nite Speed Dating was a prominent event at the Star Wars Celebration and, based off the description, I could not pass up this opportunity to try it out… and create this awesome experience piece.
The event lasted one hour: 20 women, 3 minutes per date. And there was no alcohol — which was a first, apparently. Perhaps the reasoning for that was because we were at a Star Wars event and not a typical comic convention. Oh, well.
Once the animated bomb blew up on the big screen, and the buzzer rang, the event began.
The first lady geek I sat down with was quite… normal: no costume, no eccentric attitude, and had a general love for all things geeky. She wasn’t over-the-top, is what I’m trying to say. At conventions like this, that’s hard to come by.
Now, I didn’t know what I was doing and neither did she… but the next person did. Not four seconds after I sat down, this lady threw a curveball, asking me what my greatest possession was, from any fandom (as a matter of fact, two people had asked me this question).
I had no clue. I had never thought of that before; but I thought I gave a solid answer: the three Dark Knight trilogy posters on my wall. Apparently that was the wrong answer, because she was a Marvel fan — only Marvel. I decided to throw out my back up answer and see how that went: my Tomorrowland pin I got during Disneyland’s 50th anniversary (not this year’s 60th). As you can imagine, that was also the “wrong” answer. Once the animated bomb blew up, and the buzzer rang, I quickly moved on to another normal person.
Things didn’t really start to “ramp up” until about midway through the cycle. After people grew tired of all the humorless, redundant questions, that’s when the diehard, tricky questions began to come out.
At the 12th table, I sat down with a girl who didn’t think I was an actual Star Wars fan due to the simple fact that I wasn’t wearing a Star Wars shirt. She began quizzing me like she was Harry Knowles in Fanboys, asking me the name of Chewie’s home planet. Little did she know, I beat Knights of the Old Republic at least twenty times growing up — both the light and dark side endings — so I knew exactly what the name of Chewie’s home planet was.
I studied her face for a few moments, and as she began to think she was right in me not being a true Star Wars fan, bam! I dropped the name of the planet: Kashyyk. She was shocked. Defeated. Once she regained her mental composure, she smiled, and was about to say something; but before she could, I took the next shot and quizzed her: What’s the name of the Twi’leks’ home planet? She faltered. She had absolutely no idea what the planet’s name was. All she could do was shake her head.
Thankfully she didn’t say anything ’cause I didn’t know, either. I was just firing back. Her hostile attitude put me off the moment I sat down. After two more minutes of minimal conversation, the buzzer rang. I got up and said my goodbyes in the ancient tradition of the Vulcans: Live long and prosper. Oh yeah, I did the Vulcan sign, too.
I was growing weary of these nerd attacks. I was speed dating at a Star Wars CELEBRATION. We were all there to celebrate and bask in the glorious-ness of what’s coming, so why was I being lambasted for my appearance, or lack thereof?
After three more attempts of finding “love in a galaxy far, far away” I came across the first cosplayer in the room. This geek had her Jedi costume down to a T.
Even though she was dressed up, she was one of the more normalized people there; and one that didn’t play 20 questions with me to see just how much of a geek I am. However, she did ask me why I was wearing a Media badge. I was straight with her — told her I was there covering the Celebration and that I was probably going to write about speed dating. This lady restored my faith in galaxy, knowing there are still nice people out there.
As I passed the 3rd quarter, things were starting to look up. I felt like I was going through rounds in March Madness and that I had finally hit the Final Four when I met a humble, vivacious nerd towards the end of this speed dating session. Candidate #16 was wearing an R2-D2 dress and bright, almost luminous, red lipstick. She was the second person to ask me what my favorite possession was of any fandom. I gave a somewhat different answer than the two I used at the beginning of the event (I don’t have just one favorite). The reason I say somewhat is because my answer was a snippet of The Dark Knight IMAX film reel. Pure badass.
For some reason I decided to pick one of the first speed dating sessions at the Star Wars Celebration, which meant that there would be a few absences. After the 17th “date,” I was stuck at empty tables. Instead of waiting for the inevitable buzzer to ring and people to stand up, I decided to abandon ship and head on over to the nFuse bar at the nearby Marriott and have a couple of Star Wars-themed drinks with some fellow journalist/bloggers I met at the Celebration.
If you’ve ever gone, or ever will go, speed dating at a Star Wars Celebration or any comic-book convention, let us know in the comments!